Chennai Buzz: City getting poll ready | Book fair from Feb 16th…and more!

Weekly news update: Preparations underway for local body polls on 19th; Kilambakkam bus terminus near ready; piped gas supply plans, and more

Urban local body poll preparations underway

Preparations are underway for the urban local body polls that are set to take place on February 19th. Counting for the same will happen on February 22nd. The Greater Chennai Corporation is working with the Chennai Police to identify sensitive polling booths and beef up security. A total of 1243 sensitive polling booths across 200 wards has been identified. Proceedings from these booths will be live streamed on the day of the elections. Additional monitoring will be carried out by banking staff roped in for this purpose.

A total of 18000 police personnel will be in-charge of security on polling day. Campaigning is underway with restrictions in light of COVID-19. Public gatherings have been banned until February 11th. Indoor meetings have been capped at 500 persons. 

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express

Read more: Explained: How GCC administers the city and why we need an elected council

Kilambakkam bus terminus to be ready soon

The much awaited Kilambakkam Bus Terminus is expected to be ready for use within the next five months. The project is being undertaken by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). The CMDA aims to decongest the Koyambedu Bus Terminus with this move as all south-bound buses will originate from Kilambakkam.

The project is set to cost Rs 394 crores. The new terminus will have room for 250 buses and will cater to 1.5 lakh passengers. The terminus will also have provisions to generate solar power and a sponge park. In addition to this, a separate bus terminus that will serve the rest of the city has also been proposed at a site that spans 5 acres.

Source: The New Indian Express

Two metro stations set for safety inspection

Two metro stations that are part of the Chennai Metro Rail’s Phase 1 Extension Project are set to undergo safety inspections. The Wimco Nagar Depot and Tiruvottiyur Theradi stations will then be open to the public. The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety is set to carry out the safety inspection in the coming week. 

A preliminary report on the design has been shared with the Commissioner. The safety inspection will cover aspects such as fire safety, accessibility of the stations and signage. Recommendations if any will be shared with the Metro Rail authorities, on compliance of which the safety certificate will be issued. The process is expected to take two weeks. 

The work on Thiruvanmiyur metro station is also set to begin next week. The station will connect the southern part of the city to the rest of the metro rail network. Work on outer walls and tunnelling is expected to begin first. This station will be part of the Madhavaram – SIPCOT corridor.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

Read more: Why persons with disability are unhappy with Chennai Metro

Chennai Book Fair from February 16

The annual Chennai Book Fair will commence from February 16 and is set to go on until March 6. The event had to be postponed from January 6 as a result of the third wave of COVID-19. The 45th edition of the book fair will be housed at the YMCA ground in Nandanam. The book fair is organised by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI).

chennai book fair
The annual book fair sees publishers from across the country set up stalls. Pic: Laasya Shekhar

The nod for the book fair was given by the state government after representatives from BAPASI met with the authorities. The fair organisers promised to hold the event in strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols such as masking, sanitising and social distancing. There will be 800 stalls at the fair. 

Source: India Today

Piped gas supply to city soon

Chennai is expected to get its first piped natural gas supply to homes by June of this year. The supply will come from the Compressed Natural Gas terminal in Ennore. The state government has directed the departments concerned to grant permission for works such as road cutting and laying of pipes. Residents of Thirumangalam are expected to get the connection first.

A total of lines spanning 6666 kms is expected to be laid in Chennai and the neighbouring Thiruvallur district. Individual homes and large apartment complexes will be part of the project. The project aims to cover a total of 33 lakh homes in eight years. 

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]

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